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OS Popular Edition

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OS One Inch
Popular Edition
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Publisher:  Ordnance Survey
Scale:  1:63,360
First Published:  1919
Final Publication:  1941
SABRE Maps layer:  Yes

The Ordnance Survey Popular Edition of the One Inch Series was launched just after World War One, and consisted of two sets of maps. Scotland was covered in 92 sheets, with England and Wales covered in a separate series of 146 sheets. Both series were mainly covered in three-panel maps, although a few areas, notably western Scotland, saw the later style of four-panel maps. Equally, while most of the maps were aligned with their wider dimension East-West, some were North-South to better cover the country.

Scottish Popular Edition


The Scottish Popular Edition (SPE) was launched in 1924. Whilst the English & Welsh maps were replaced after the war with the New Popular Edition, the SPE continued until the launch of the Seventh Series in the 1950s. This was reflected in the GB coverage map on the reverse cover, which had the NPE maps marked in black, and the SPE maps in Red, showing hefty overlaps at the join of the two series.

The initial series of the 1920s and early 30s were a cream base with large Scottish royal shield and surround with map name below, in some cases the cover was smaller and the surround included Thistles in Green or Black and Red while others were a plainer red border. The post war series had covers very similar to those used for the NPE in England & Wales retaining a smaller Scottish royal shield and a thicker red border with map title and outline below.

Covers & Prices

After the war, most of the maps were re-issued as new revisions in 1947. The initial prices appear to have been 2/3 (paper) or 3/- (cloth). However, prices would increase rapidly with stickers printed up for 4/- and 4/6 respectively. The last SPE maps appear to have been printed with fresh covers, missing the 'GR', although with the royal crest otherwise unchanged. Cloth-backed maps were now retailing at 6/6. However, the sheet contained within still had the original 1947/8 prices, and does not appear to have had any revisions.

England & Wales Popular Edition


Apart from being numbered in their own series, the Popular Edition for England & Wales followed the same pre-war changes as the SPE for Scotland. However, after World War Two most of them were quickly replaced with the New Popular Edition. Notable exceptions seem to have been a few sheets for South Wales and East Kent, although the GB coverage maps on the reverse of the covers never seem to have admitted this.

Covers & Prices

The original covers from 1919 were used right through until nearly the end of the 1930s, and depicted a man sat on a hill above a forest looking at a map. Above was a royal crest, with wreaths draped down either side. The map was titled 'Ordnance Survey contoured road map of ___' At the bottom was a very small sheet coverage map in a rather elaborate frame, and containing the sheet number.

The final maps had the legend replaced with "One Inch Map Popular Edition", and had a top hinge similar to modern OS products.

Prices in 1935 appear to have been 2/- (paper) or 2/6 (cloth).

SABRE Maps coverage

Some coverage from the Popular Edition is available on SABRE Maps.

OS Popular Edition
Related Pictures
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Os-spe-56.jpgOs-pe-111.jpgExeter Bypass NPE map.pngSPE73SAbreWiki.jpg1936SPESabreWiki.jpg
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